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Author Topic: Super Flexible File Synchronizer Mini-Review  (Read 57853 times)
zridling
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« on: April 26, 2007, 11:40:40 PM »

App Name:Super Flexible File Synchronizer, soon to be renamed ExtremeSync         
App URL:http://www.superflexible.com/index.htm
App Version Reviewed:    3.4x
Download URL:http://www.superflexible.com/download.htm
Test System Specs:Windows Vista x64; Ubuntu 7.04
Supported OSes:Windows 2000, XP, 2003 Server, Vista; Linux
Support MethodsEmail (preferred), Phone
Upgrade Policy:Version license
Trial Version:30-day trial period, fully enabled.
Pricing:Pro version: €49.90, $59.90; Standard version: €29.90, $34.90)         
More Screenshots:http://www.superflexible.com/screenshots.htm
________________________________________________

               
                  Edit Profiles screen, with File Access tab open


________________________________________________
INTRODUCTION
If you're not using this type of software, let's start with what a synchronizer does. A synchronization program is used to backup, replicate, restore, and/or distribute files — to another computer; to a backup device; to another network; USB drive, and so on. The purpose is to have two complete copies of your data at any given time. A synchronization program can also restore lost or damaged files and settings if needed. Primarily it is used to keep a running, or rollover backup copy of your files to whatever destination or media you choose.

Why not just use a popular backup program? Good question, and the answer is you'll want both. While synchronization is similar, it's not the same thing. A synchronization program serves different needs than a backup program. Backup programs tend to focus their features on storing and then restoring files and data, whereas a synchronization program coordinates the unification of files between two (or more) locations, reconciling their differences according to your needs, thus providing an accurate and timely copy of one's files. Synchronization also has a "set it and forget it" quality where jobs or profiles can be automatically scheduled to run on any timetable you desire.

               
                 Profile Overview

Once you work with a good and accurate synchronization program, you will quickly come to rely on it. Fortunately, there are several good programs in this software category. But Super Flexible File Synchronizer has distinguished itself by its accuracy, reliability, and killer feature set. Even though there are multiple tabs in the advanced edit profile mode, the UI is well thought out, and once you know your way around, the features are all right in front of you. Best of all, it gives you control over exactly what goes where and how it syncs — at the point of synching. It's also great for exact mirroring, and while SFFS should really be considered a commercial app; that is, an enterprise one, given its deep feature set. Its trial version is fully functional, letting you thoroughly test and compare it to other synching apps. Super Flexible File Synchronizer has both a wizard step-by-step mode or an advanced mode. Profiles are extremely simple to setup, easy to alter, and can be scheduled remotely. The scheduler can run as a service — without users needing to log on.

Super Flexible File Synchronizer's developer, Tobias Giesen of Neuenkirchen, Germany, lives in Brühl near Cologne. His first passion is music and he has also developed music notation software.

               
                  Synchronization Preview screen where last-minute changes can be made (skipped in Unattended mode)


________________________________________________
WHO IS THIS APP DESIGNED FOR
Anyone who needs to harmonize, coordinate, or backup files between two locations and/or devices. A synchronizer not only can serve as a backup utility, but can keep individual files up-to-date between scheduled backups. Super Flexible File Synchronizer is built for users who need more out of a synchronizer than a backup program and for those who need a program with which they can grow as their needs expand.

               
                  Options screen


________________________________________________
THE GOOD
Super Flexible File Synchronizer is an intelligent synchronizer whose features are in part built to prevent you from making the common mistake of overwriting the wrong files. It's as simple as you want it be, or it can be used for complex purposes. For example, users can choose the user interface that suits them best: Wizard or Advanced Mode. The settings are stored in multiple profiles, and the software comes with support for FTP with SSL and SSH, WebDAV and Amazon S3, zip compression, data encryption, and a scheduler for automated backups. The scheduler can run visibly in the dialog, or as a Windows service. It can freely select files and folders across the whole folder hierarchy in a tree view, and has support for e-mail notification, profile categories, binary comparison, Unicode filenames, and various filters. In addition, it can replicate NTFS security settings as well as file shares.

               
                  About screen


________________________________________________
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
At first, the number of tabs under the Edit Profiles main tab was arresting, but when you realize that they include all the options you might want to customize within a specific profile, it's not daunting. In fact, the default settings are well-adjusted in this sense.


________________________________________________
WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD USE THIS PRODUCT
Making the case for Super Flexible File Synchronizer is the same for any good synchronizer program, whether it be Beyond Compare, DirSync, or SyncBack. However, Super Flexible File Synchronizer's utility grows as your needs do. If you're a developer, for example, Super Flexible File Synchronizer is great for keeping a running backup of your projects online or on a network. With built-in copy direction protection, It also protects against overwriting the wrong files. In other words, if you copy from A to B onto your laptop, leave for business on the week and return, you'll want to copy B to A upon your return. Super Flexible File Synchronizer recognizes this and either warns you, or you can set this option automatically in a profile if you prefer. Switching the copy direction is as easy as one mouse click. If the file doesn't keep date or file size stats (some PST files or Quicken files do this out of security I'm told), then you can leave the option unchecked and copy in the proper direction manually.

               
                  Wizard mode. Creating a new profile is done in six steps, and advanced functions can be accessed here.

               
                  Wizard mode, step 1.


________________________________________________
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO SIMILAR APPS
As Alex Forbes notes, unlike some sync programs, Super Flexible File Synchronizer has the ability to:

  • Define what specific file names or types are excluded
  • Option to delete files on target that no longer appear on source
  • Ability to save off files marked for deletion, for later attention
  • Option to warn when certain conditions are detected, since as newer file is smaller and would overwrite a larger file of the same name.
  • Ability to build sets or "suites" of synch definitions
  • Ability to run in batch mode (all suites at once)
  • Ability to run on a scheduler
  • Ability to run unattended
  • Ability to save your sets or "suites" for backup or export to another machine


________________________________________________
CONCLUSIONS
Super Flexible File Synchronizer can be used by both ordinary users like myself or advanced users. For ordinary guys like me, it is conveniently fast. For advanced users, you SFFS gives you a broad range of options which should exceed your needs, but give you the control you're seeking. The UI is not elegant, but it is compact and functional. For beginners, the Wizard mode is both easy and fast to use. Regarding cost, Super Flexible File Synchronizer is expensive for a reason: it works, and thanks to its developer, Tobias Giesen is offering a 30% discount on it starting in May. Further, the author updates the program often and bugs are quashed quickly. He also invites user feedback and acts on it. That's a good thing.


________________________________________________
LINKS TO OTHER REVIEWS OF THIS APPLICATION
Alex Forbes' excellent review
http://www.summitlake.com/COMPUTERS_NET/SuperFlexible.html



« Last Edit: April 27, 2007, 03:06:19 AM by zridling » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2007, 01:26:08 AM »

Fine review, zridling!

For anyone with relatively minor sync needs, I recommend the tiny utility PathSync. The installer is only 101kb but PathSync is excellent for stuff like syncing files between portable drives and regular drives. It is not as feature packed and advanced as Super Flexible File Synchronizer, but does its job well.
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zridling
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2007, 02:23:46 AM »

Thanks for the link on PathSync, Tuck. What a cool piece of smallware!
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2007, 02:28:45 AM »

Great minireview  Thmbsup
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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2007, 03:03:05 AM »

mouser's back? Woohoo!! Give us the scoop, man — how's the system?
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2007, 03:05:32 AM »

see here: http://www.donationcoder....x.php?topic=8229.msg58896
short answer: found a cool local store i didn't know about before and got a nice new power supply, and all is well with the world  thumbs up
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nevf
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2007, 04:04:56 PM »

I've been using SFFS for many years and happily recommend it. Tobias also provides very good support.
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2007, 02:39:19 AM »

Very good review!

When I got to the "HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO SIMILAR APPS" section, the list I see (written by Tobias?) left me unimpressed. I think it is incomplete. In fact, cheaper tools can do most of the items mentioned (i.e., syncBack), whereas there are things that only SFFS can do that are not on the list.

Example:
  • sftp support
  • amazon S 3 support
  • delta updating of *files* (i.e., if a big file is changed, only the changes are copied, not the entire file)
  • resuming a profile after something went wrong easily and reliably
  • caching the index so you do not have to reindex large drives that change little (saves lots of time)
  • low memory and CPU usage (take that, backUp4all!)
  • a feeling of reliability overall

rc12 is out, btw.
I didn't know the wizard mode was added already.

I think SFFS can easily replace any of the traditional backup utilities, and be more transparent, reliable, and less of a resource hog. And did I mention faster?

In summary, highly recommended!
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2007, 02:46:52 AM »

By the way, discount on SFFS coming in May  thumbs up
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zridling
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2007, 08:27:44 AM »

urlwolf, sorry about that. I had trouble with the "HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO SIMILAR APPS" section because although I've registered and used SyncBack and DirSync in the past, I was too lazy to take the time to compare and contrast them. Maybe you could help us out with a brief outline of differences among 2-3 sync apps?

Reading urlwolf's reviews over at FileForum led me to take a second look at SFFS, and I concur that the first impression it makes is its speed.
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2007, 03:40:25 AM »

Hi,

Any update on when the discount is coming for DC members ?
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2007, 09:15:44 PM »

Discount is out now! A nice one too!...

Thar she is
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 08:45:14 AM »

OMG! I'm in love... I just compared a backup copy of My Documents (~50GB) to a copy that I made for backup and SFFS took less than five minutes to do it. DOpus' built in tool is still chugging away after about 15 minutes. My fingers are crossed for a big win in the contest (singing: "Luck be a lady tonight..."!).
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2007, 09:11:06 AM »

Based on the reviews here and the DC discount, I have purchased the pro version sight unseen. I have no doubts that I will be a very satisfied customer.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2007, 02:29:27 PM »

After you've used it for a while, come back and share your impressions with us.
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2007, 05:37:22 PM »

Hey Z, I just bought DirSync a week ago (mainly due to your recommendations).  Is SFFS better than DirSync in your opinion? 
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2007, 06:33:11 PM »

Hey Z, I just bought DirSync a week ago (mainly due to your recommendations).  Is SFFS better than DirSync in your opinion? 

Never listen to Z when he's overly enthusiastic over a newly discovered software.
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2007, 11:52:39 PM »

Yes, but.....
Both are highly accurate (I trust you to test me on that claim), but while DirSync has a simpler setup and execution, SFFS can do so much more. If you plan to do any offline or FTP/S3 backups, SFFS is really sweet. Right now, it's the synchonizer to beat.

IMO, the synchonizer category is like the file manager category: lots of good choices here, including SyncBack SE. So cater to your needs, but if you want the Ferrari, take advantage of the DC discount for SFFS.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 11:55:17 PM by zridling » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2007, 10:11:28 AM »

OK, nice to know.  Fortunately, even with the discount, SFFS is almost double the price of DirSync so I'm not jumping to get it just yet.  Man, a lot of software I've wanted lately have been way too expensive for me.  It seems like nothing is in the $20 range, even if the program barely does anything.  Calendarscope, TexNotes Pro, SFFS, DOpus upgrade...all in the $50 range.  Oh well, I guess I'll hold off for now.
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2007, 11:39:06 AM »

Marry rich, Aram, marry rich... Now, if I had taken my own advice!
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2007, 04:31:07 PM »

WOW! The more I use Super Flexible File Synchronizer the more deeply I fall in love with it. It's so feature rich, so well though out and laid out, so FAST, and so easy to use -what's not to like? I particularly like the almost infinite degree to which you can customize saved jobs. I know that this is possible in other synching programmes (I have several of them!) but SFFS is set apart by its ease of use. Did I mention how FAST it is?
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2007, 04:51:50 AM »

And it's flexible. (or should i say Super Flexible) I started using SFFS for big synch jobs only, but since I have removed  both SyncToy and Syncback (free edition) but they've just become obsolete.

I still use Beyond Compare to compare inside text-files for my web development but SFFS is a very polished and powerful program indeed.
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2007, 06:45:35 AM »

Sounds exactly like my situation - I'm using Beyond Compare for most file comparisons as well.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2009, 01:38:26 AM »

App Name:Super Flexible File Synchronizer, soon to be renamed ExtremeSync         

- for two years they have not yet launched the Extreme thing. So, how is the company going in general? Are they bug fixing and feature updating and such? Does anyone know?
 tellme
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2009, 01:51:20 AM »

@curt

Details @ http://www.extremebackup.net/
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